Embarking on the journey of forming and managing a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Tennessee opens doors to exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs and business owners.

Whether you’re considering forming an LLC in the Volunteer State or already have one established, these FAQs on forming an LLC in Tennessee aims to address common questions and concerns you may encounter along the way.


Tennessee LLC

  1. Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer to Form an LLC in Tennessee? While it’s not a legal requirement to hire a lawyer, it’s often advisable to seek legal counsel, especially if you have complex business needs or want to ensure compliance with all state regulations. However, you can also form an LLC on your own by following the guidelines provided by the Tennessee Secretary of State.
  2. What Are the Steps to Dissolve an LLC in Tennessee? Dissolving an LLC in Tennessee involves several steps, including filing articles of dissolution with the Secretary of State, settling all debts and obligations, and informing creditors and other relevant parties about the dissolution. For detailed instructions, refer to the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website on LLC dissolution.
  3. Can I Operate My LLC Under a Different Name Than My Registered Name in Tennessee? Yes, you can operate your LLC under a different name than your registered name by filing for a “doing business as” (DBA) or fictitious business name with the Tennessee Secretary of State. This allows you to conduct business under a name other than your LLC’s legal name.
  4. What Are the Annual Requirements for Maintaining an LLC in Tennessee? In Tennessee, LLCs are required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State, which includes updating information about the LLC’s members, managers, and registered agent. Additionally, LLCs must pay an annual filing fee. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in penalties or the involuntary dissolution of the LLC.
  5. Are There Any Specific Regulations for Professional LLCs (PLLCs) in Tennessee? Yes, Tennessee has specific regulations governing Professional Limited Liability Companies (PLLCs) which are formed by licensed professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, and accountants, to provide professional services. PLLCs must comply with additional licensing and regulatory requirements set forth by their respective professional boards or associations.
  6. How Can I Obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) for My Tennessee LLC? You can obtain an EIN for your Tennessee LLC for free from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) either online, by mail, fax, or by phone. An EIN is necessary for tax purposes, hiring employees, opening a business bank account, and other legal and financial transactions.
  7. What Are the Tax Implications for an LLC in Tennessee? LLCs in Tennessee are subject to various state and federal taxes, including state sales tax, excise tax, and federal income tax. The specific tax obligations depend on the nature of the LLC’s business activities, its structure, and whether it elects to be taxed as a corporation or a pass-through entity. Consult with a tax professional for personalized advice.

For further information and guidance on forming an LLC in Tennessee, you can visit the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Business Services Division website.

Tennessee Business Name Search

  1. Is it Possible to Reserve a Business Name in Tennessee Before Forming an Entity? Yes, Tennessee allows individuals to reserve a business name for a period of 120 days before officially forming a business entity. This reservation can be done online through the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website by submitting a Name Reservation Request form and paying the applicable fee.
  2. What Information Do I Need to Conduct a Business Entity Name Search in Tennessee? To perform a business entity name search in Tennessee, you will need to provide at least one of the following: the exact business entity name, a partial business entity name, or the entity identification number. Additionally, you may also search by the name of an officer or registered agent associated with the business.
  3. How Can I Check for Trademark Availability When Searching Business Names in Tennessee? While the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website provides a database for searching business entity names, it’s essential to conduct a separate search for trademarks through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website or other relevant databases. This ensures that your chosen business name does not infringe upon existing trademarks.
  4. What Should I Do If the Business Name I Want is Already in Use in Tennessee? If the business name you desire is already in use in Tennessee, you will need to choose a different name that is distinguishable from existing entities according to state regulations. It’s recommended to conduct a thorough search to avoid potential conflicts and legal issues down the line.
  5. Are There Any Restrictions on Business Entity Names in Tennessee? Yes, Tennessee imposes certain restrictions on business entity names to prevent confusion and ensure transparency. For example, the name of an LLC or corporation must include specific designators such as “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “Incorporated,” “Inc.,” or similar abbreviations as per state law.
  6. Can I Conduct a Business Entity Name Search Over the Phone or In-Person in Tennessee? Unfortunately, the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office does not offer business entity name searches over the phone or in-person. However, you can access the online database through their website to perform searches at your convenience.
  7. Is There a Fee Associated with Conducting a Business Entity Name Search in Tennessee? No, there is no fee required to conduct a business entity name search in Tennessee. The search function is available free of charge on the Tennessee Secretary of State’s website for anyone to use.

Tennessee Registered Agent

  1. Can I Serve as My Own Registered Agent for My Tennessee LLC? Yes, you can serve as the registered agent for your Tennessee LLC as long as you meet the state’s requirements. However, keep in mind that a registered agent must have a physical address within the state where legal documents can be served during business hours. If you’re frequently out of the office or prefer more privacy, you may consider hiring a professional registered agent service.
  2. What Are the Responsibilities of a Registered Agent in Tennessee? The primary responsibility of a registered agent in Tennessee is to receive legal documents and official correspondence on behalf of the LLC. This includes service of process (legal notices, lawsuits, etc.), tax documents, and other important notices from the state. The registered agent must promptly forward these documents to the LLC’s designated contact.
  3. Can I Change My LLC’s Registered Agent in Tennessee After Formation? Yes, you can change your LLC’s registered agent in Tennessee after formation by filing the appropriate form with the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office. The form typically requires the signature of an authorized member or manager of the LLC and may involve a nominal filing fee. Ensure that your new registered agent meets all state requirements before making the switch.
  4. What Happens If My Registered Agent Resigns or Becomes Unavailable in Tennessee? If your registered agent resigns or becomes unavailable in Tennessee, you must promptly designate a new registered agent to ensure continuous compliance with state regulations. Failing to maintain a registered agent can result in penalties and jeopardize your LLC’s good standing. Be proactive in addressing any changes to your registered agent to avoid complications.
  5. Do I Need to List My Registered Agent’s Address on Public Records in Tennessee? Yes, the address of your LLC’s registered agent is part of the public record in Tennessee and will be accessible through the Secretary of State’s office. This information is required for legal purposes and ensures that there is a reliable point of contact for official communications with your LLC.
  6. Can I Use a P.O. Box as the Address for My Registered Agent in Tennessee? No, Tennessee law requires that the registered agent’s address be a physical street address within the state where legal documents can be personally delivered during regular business hours. A P.O. Box is not sufficient for this purpose. However, some registered agent services may offer to use their address while ensuring compliance with state requirements.
  7. Are There Any Alternatives to Hiring a Professional Registered Agent in Tennessee? While hiring a professional registered agent service is a common choice for many LLCs, you may also designate an individual within your LLC, such as a member or manager, to serve as the registered agent. Just ensure that the designated individual meets all requirements and is available during business hours to receive legal documents.
author avatar
Brian Wilson Writer and Editor
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar. Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor's degree in business from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications. Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email:   info@llcradar.com Phone: 972-776-4050

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  Information provided on this website is for general information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to offer legal advice specific to your business needs. If you need legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. Rankings and reviews are the personal opinions of the authors and/or editors. For questions, while starting a business, we recommend consulting with an attorney or accountant.  

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